ARMOUR PLAYS HERO, SENDS WEST TO WJAC SEMIS
JASON LA ROSE
TRURO, N.S. – Ross Armour tied the game with 6:31 left and won it 42 seconds into overtime, sending Canada West into the semifinals at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge with a 4-3 quarter-final over Canada East on Wednesday night.
The westerners will take on the Czech Republic in the second semifinal Thursday (7:30 p.m. AT).
Less than a minute after the puck dropped to start the extra period, Armour stripped East defenceman Aidan Girduckis at centre ice and broke in alone before roofing a shot over the glove of goaltender Jett Alexander to finish the comeback he started.
Carter Turnbull and Jacob Bernard-Docker had the other goals for West, which improved to 7-1 all-time against East and advanced to the semifinals for the 10th time in 12 years.
Turnbull got the offence started just past the six-minute mark on the power play, one-timing a feed from Dylan Holloway through Alexander from the low slot for the lone goal of the first period.
A fortuitous bounce doubled the lead early in the second; Bernard-Docker dumped the puck into the East zone from centre ice, only for it to bounce off the end boards, off Alexander and in for the 2-0 goal.
But Derek Dicaire answered just 62 seconds later for East, taking a drop pass from Colton Kalezic and wiring a shot past West netminder Zach Rose to cut the deficit in half through 40 minutes.
Nick Campoli tied the game on the power play at 2:31 of the third period, tucking a loose puck past Rose at the side of the net, and Jack McBain finished off a three-on-two by popping the water bottle just 21 seconds after that to put the easterners ahead for the first time.
Armour forced overtime at 13:29, turning in the slot and finding room over the shoulder of Alexander for another man-advantage goal.
West finished with a 37-21 edge in shots on goal.
The loss drops Canada East into the fifth-place game against Switzerland on Friday afternoon (3:30 p.m. AT).